Toughie 982

Toughie No 982 by Excalibur

Something to get your teeth into?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good afternoon from South Staffs, although by the time this is published I expect to be well towards a stop-off in Kent, en route to France.

This being my first go at blogging a Toughie, I’m short of reference points for the difficulty – I don’t usually look at how long a Toughie takes me.  But on the basis that this one took about twice the time I would take for a ** back pager, I think ** is reasonable.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across

5a           Spiel from salesmanone being nice to your dog? (6)
{ PATTER } Double definition, the second being how you might describe a person carrying out the usual way of being friendly to a dog.

8a           Carried off hurt, I’ve unfortunately to be admitted (8)
{ ACHIEVED } Take the past tense of a verb meaning to hurt persistently, and insert an anagram (unfortunately) of I’VE. Carried off here is in the sense of ‘succeeded’.

9a           A woman has come round about? So soon? (7)
{ ALREADY } A (from the clue) and a synonym of woman around the Latin word for about or concerning.

10a         Queen/king alternative that’s flawed (5)
{ ERROR } The regnal cipher of Her Majesty, then the initial of the Latin word for king or queen, and finally a conjunction expressing an alternative.

11a         For crying out loud, you should use it! (9)
{ MEGAPHONE } Cryptic definition of something you might use to address a crowd outdoors.

13a         The telltale  gun? (8)
{ REPEATER } Double definition: someone who passes on what they are told, and a gun which fires more than one shot.

14a         Tees off before me, playing for prize (6)
{ ESTEEM } Anagram (off) of TEES followed by an anagram (playing) of ME.

17a         The count’s origin? (3)
{ ONE } … is the number you might start counting from.

19a         A quiet wood (3)
{ ASH } A (from the clue) followed by an injunction to be quiet.

20a         Going by book, sheep-like, dull and stolid (6)
{ BOVINE } An abbreviation for Book followed by a word meaning sheep-like, producing a word which is rather more ox-like.

23a         Landing strip from which there are no take-offs (8)
{ FLYPAPER } Cryptic definition of a sticky strip to catch flying insects.

26a         Quickly adopt an attitude that’s flexible, to be accepted (9)
{ POSTHASTE } A verb meaning ‘adopt an attitude – like an artist’s model – with an anagram (flexible) of THAT’S inside it.

28a         Is furious when half of transcript is revamped (5)
{ RANTS } Anagram (revamped) of the first half of TRANS(cript).

29a         Cutting talk short, ring off in annoyance (7)
{ CHAGRIN } Remove the final T from a word for talk (cutting short), then add an anagram (off) of RING.

30a         Fighting lethargy (8)
{ INACTION } Split (2,6) this could describe soldiers engaged in fighting.

31a         Derived an accommodating advance (6)
{ ARISEN } AN (from the clue) with a verb meaning to advance in rank inside it.

Down

1d           Line, or streak (6)
{ CAREER } Double definition. A line of business, and a headlong rush.

2d           Heart transplanted? Pity — it’s unnecessary for treatment (7)
{ THERAPY } Anagram (transplanted) of HEART followed by PITY with the IT removed (it’s unnecessary).

3d           Before being overwhelmed by temper, come to your senses (3,6)
{ SEE REASON } A poetic word for before inside a verb meaning to temper or mature.

4d           Go on about birds being raised (6)
{ RESUME } The Latin word for about or concerning followed by a reversal (raised, in a Down clue) of some of Rod Hull’s friends.

5d           Spoils parts of book with bad padding (8)
{ PILLAGES } The definition refers to the act of spoliation. The leaves of a book with a synonym of bad inside.

6d           One loses the first set early on, and later struggles to retain the second (5)
{ TEETH } A cryptic definition of a part of the body we all have two sets of in our lifetime. I felt there ought to be a wordplay in there somewhere, but I can’t see it.

7d           Aim to provoke and threaten safety (8)
{ ENDANGER } An aim or objective followed by to provoke or upset.

12d         Unit and three-quarters therefore (3)
{ ERG } Remove the final O from a four-letter Latin word for therefore to get a CGS unit of work.

15d         The more washing up there is, the bigger it’s been (9)
{ SHIPWRECK } … because we’re talking about what’s washed ashore after a maritime disaster.

16d         Easy for the two in Reno breaking up (2,6)
{ NO BOTHER } Another word for ‘the two’ inside an anagram (breaking up) of RENO.

18d         Gun carried by criminal one in denial (8)
{ NEGATION } US slang word for a gun inside an anagram (criminal) of ONE IN.

21d         Silly little daughter left behind (3)
{ AFT } Remove an abbreviation for Daughter from a word meaning silly to get a nautical term for behind.

22d         Performing opera in great outdoors (4,3)
{ OPEN AIR } Anagram (performing) of OPERA IN.

24d         Takes in student, is rewarded financially (6)
{ LEARNS } The letter found on a plate denoting a student driver, followed by a verb for being financially rewarded for work.

25d         Call round, one’s not yet dressed? (6)
{ RISING } Someone who’s in the act of getting up. To call on the phone around the Roman numeral for one and ‘S.

27d         Saying to ourselves: ‘This is a very long river’ (5)
{ TAGUS } The longest river on the Iberian peninsula.  A saying or quotation followed by the pronoun relating to ourselves.

All being well, I’ll be back on the Cryptic next week, and blogging from somewhere in Burgundy.

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9 Comments

  1. Expat Chris
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    A *** difficulty for me, since there were half a dozen that I struggled with for quite a while. 6D defeated me until I resorted to electronic help, but this turned out to be my favorite clue. I also liked 25A, 30A and 15D very much. I needed an explantion for 6D. Many thanks to the setter, and to DT for the review. Very enjoyable overall.

    I hope this is not inappropriate here, but my thoughts are very much with my fellow countrymen in Oklahoma today.

    • Only fools
      Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes Chris ours too,the sad scenes have been shown non-stop on all our news stations .Put’s things into perspective .

  2. BigBoab
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Excalibur and DT for a very enjoyable crossword and review.

  3. Only fools
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    May not have been as intractable as some would prefer but I really enjoyed this .
    Faves 6d ,23a,29a.
    Thanks to DT and Excalibur

  4. jezza
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    About as gentle as they come for a toughie – but it is the beginning of the toughie week.
    I also spent a while looking for some wordplay in 6d; I suppose there is misdirection intended along the lines of a game of tennis perhaps.
    Thanks to Excalibur, and to Deep Threat.

  5. michael mason
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely lovely start to the Toughie week. Just the right degree of difficulty and lots of laughs. Particularly 5a 11a 23a and 6d

    It’s going to be hard to keep up this standard for the rest of the week. Thanks indeed Excalibur and Deep Threat

  6. Posted May 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Not many early doors customers tonight so I managed to finish this very enjoyable puzzle. Ta to all

  7. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the ratings on this one. Nothing to hold up the solving process for very long, but many good fun clues. Thought 23a amusing, we are old enough to remember them from childhood, hideous weren’t they. Enjoyable puzzle throughout.
    Thanks Excalibur and DT.

  8. steve_the_beard
    Posted May 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I think that I found this harder than most, but it was very enjoyable nonetheless and I got there in the end.

    How I wanted 1D to be METEOR (mete = boundary line)! I was so disappointed when I got 8A :-)

    Thanks to Excalibur and DT.